As with most procedures done on your heart and blood vessels, cardiac catheterization has some risks. Major complications are rare, though.

Risks of cardiac catheterization are:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Damage to the artery where the catheter was inserted that may require additional attention (pseudoaneurysm)
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Allergic reactions to the dye or medication
  • Tearing the tissue of your heart or artery
  • Kidney damage
  • Infection
  • Blood clots

If you are either pregnant or planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor before having cardiac catheterization performed.